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Trail building in the works for Buchanan/Bergen Park land

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By Vicky Gits

Construction work could begin this month on a 3,568-foot asphalt multipurpose trail on the eastern perimeter of Buchanan/Bergen Park under the direction of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District.

The trail is part of a number of improvements planned for the island-shaped park between Evergreen and Bergen parkways south of the RTD parking lot.

The trail will connect the RTD parking lot with the Buchanan Rec Center lot and the Pioneer Trail to downtown Evergreen.

The master plan for the park has been under fire in recent weeks from neighbors who object to the prospect of more buildings and parking lots on the now mostly vacant property. Trails were one of the top four desired improvements for Buchanan Park in a 2001 survey, along with gardens, flushing toilets and picnic areas.

“We have been real excited to have a trail that goes over both park parcels ee . The attraction for me personally is the community has been generous in providing funds to purchase the land. Now there will be a pathway to get people into the park to see it and enjoy it,” said Allan Casey, president of the park district board.

The $123,000 project is one of the first amenities to be built on the 67-acre parcel owned by Denver Mountain Parks and the Evergreen Park and Rec District.

Money to build the trail consists of $101,000 from the Jefferson County Open Space Department and $22,000 from the park district.

The trail was originally scheduled for completion this summer, but the process was delayed due to negotiations with Denver, which earlier had agreed to allow the trail on the 25 acres of city-owned land. The final details of an agreement were worked out on Oct. 10.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper signed the deal on Oct. 14. Park officials hope to get the trail built before the snow starts to fly. But most of the paperwork is complete, said Dick Wulf, special projects director with the Evergreen Park and Rec District.

The master plan shows a hybrid trail, with one 8-foot asphalt segment suitable for strollers and bicycles next to a 4-foot segment made of compacted crushed materials.

However, the idea of building a jogging trail next to the asphalt path was abandoned temporarily for monetary reasons.

The construction of the 8-foot swath is expected to take about two weeks. Noble Excavating Inc. of Evergreen is the contractor. Noble won the job with the lowest bid — $101,000 — of five proposals submitted.

“It basically came out of the master planning process. That was the first and highest priority improvement, mainly to get people out and into the park. We are excited about having a trail that goes over both park parcels,” Casey said.

In addition to the perimeter trail, there will also be a 210-foot natural-surface link to the proposed veterans memorial.

The trail provides a strategic link from Buchanan Park to the Evergreen or Pioneer Trail on the west, which connects to Elk Meadow Park.

“A goal back in the beginning was to develop a trail through this park to expand from the rec district system into the Bergen Park owned by the city and county of Denver,” Wulf said.

To see a master plan, visit www.buchananpark.org.